What is it about women and romantic comedies? Filled with flowers, Cole Porter songs, weddings, soft focus, backlighting, hunky but awkwardly sensitive guys, dreamy cities, and unrealistically lonely ingénue movie stars, romantic comedies get cranked out of
Reese Witherspoon’s new vehicle Just Like Heaven fits the cookie cutter conventions of this genre exactly, but the film benefits from a witty script and the shaping hand of Mean Girls director Mark Waters. Even though Reese’s perky face reminds me of Tweetie Bird, Witherspoon is a fiercely professional actress who knows how to play characters with a hard edge. In
In turn, Ruffalo’s character David, who, according to a female friend, looks great stepping out of the shower, has cocooned himself after losing his wife. Putting metaphysical considerations aside, he finds the “blonde control freak” irritating. After failing to get rid of her through spiritualism and a ghostbuster team, David develops the kind of chaste friendship with Elizabeth that one might expect between a human and a ghost, with her saying things like “When I’m not with you, it’s like I don’t exist.” Since her spirit suffers from amnesia, they decide to investigate who she was when she was more fully alive.
Do they fall in love? Does Ruffalo shed a tear or two as he recounts his wife’s cerebral hemorrhage with the lights of the